tv The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer CNN January 31, 2012 4:00pm-6:00pm EST
wee back here tomorrow for the day after the primary. meantime we're hours away from the polls closing, 'we continue to cover florida's railings for the gnome nails. wolf? happening now, is. for the first time president obama now talking openly about the secret u.s. drone strikes against al qaeda. was it a slip-up in or was it a deliberate bit of strategy? we're looking at what the commander in chief was up to. as the united nations takes up a call for syria's leader to step down, his regime lashes out. we have shocking images just coming in said to show the slaughter of a sir yarn family. what the relatives want the
world to see. i'm wolf blitzer at the cnn election center. you're in "the situation room." in just three hours, polls start closing in florida. this republican presidential primary is critical. it's winner take all. 50 delegates up for grabs, the biggest prize yet. we've had three contests, three different winners so far. tonight florida could make one candidates the clear front-runner or mover. >> florida, as you just said is a mini america. >> mitt rodney has a clear lead.
or newt gingrich could rally. i write about this on my blog today. florida will be a critical state in november november. it's the fourth largest state in the united states, and the only one of the top four that's likely to be a serious factor in november, a competitive factor. florida is a classic swing state with a diverse electoral. it's gone to the winner in the most recent presidential elections and it's often you close. just remember what happened in florida in 2000 after a south carolina victory newt gingrich sailed into florida with the wind at his back. that wind has clearly shifted, but gingrich is vowing to move forward. you jim acosta has the latest. >> reporter: florida may not go his way, but he's confidence. one thing is certain, he won't take what happens in florida
laying down. newt gingrich is fighting on. mr. speaker, do you still see a path to the nomination after florida? >> of course. >> reporter: how do you see that happens? >> unify the conservatives, you win the delegates and you have the nope name. >> reporter: a memo to supporters points out that florida, which was penalized for moving up its primary date, is actually a smaller prize than the 76 at stake in georgia. >> democrat and republican align by an overwhelming vote, they found him guilty of ethics violation. >> reporter: but there's still the matter of money. they dramatically outspent. in a state where an estimated 92% of 9 ads were negative, gingrich conceded the damage was done. >> reporter: did you let your guard down to mitt romney, would you say? >> no, when you outspend 5:1
with ads that are dishonest. >> reporter: and romney says that taught him a lesson. >> it will be pretty clear when attacked, you have to respond, and you can't let charges go unanswered. >> reporter: expect the gop grudge match to go on for months. in the next contest, nevada, romney is again hitting gingrich for his ties to freddie mac. >> for the first time were forced to eat nonkosher, because romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat korbel. >> reporter: gingrich said he had not heard of it. >> i think why father would like to see a more positive campaign, but he also understood this is what primarying are all about. >> song of the former president
set his father's 11th commandment thou shalt not speak ill of another republican no longer applies in the seek-and-destroy politics of now. >> there's now 12th commandment. forget about that 11th commandment and let's get on. >> reporter: now the former speak is predicting this campaign could go on for another 6 to 8 months. for those who aren't keeping track at home, that's convention time. >> in tampa of all places, this year, as they say, florida fla. thanks vessel, jim. the grudge match is already very, very nasty. what should we expect? joins us our chief political analyst gloria borger this is getting even more nasty by the day. >> we can't beat all of the money power of goldman sachs and all of romney's big money
people. we can't beat the money power of romney himself. we can't beat the dishonesty of the campaign by ourselves. >> those are pretty strong words. is this working? >> i think so far it's worked generally, because he's an insurgent ad candidate. he gets his momentum from skirmishing with mitt romney. what he's doone is he channels the anger of the tea party, the antiestablishment voters and the people who just don't like mitt romney. but -- but there's a problem with that. if you want to sustain a campaign in the long term. in the long term voters want to know what they like about you as a candidate and what they can vote for you affirmative for. so far newt gingrich has been doing much less of that and much more attacking. in the long term i don't think it's a workable strategy. >> more than 90% of all the advertising has been negative
attack ads, not the positive i'm a great guy and all of that. >> and that hurts both of their likable. >> romney may still have a problem with summer conservative voters. he seemed to address that today. >> i have a conservate record, and that record is one i'm willing to stand by. by the way, even with regard to social issues, i was i was at a state where being a social conservative was not easy. a bill came to my desk calling for cloning of embryos, i want absolutely not and i vetoed it. there was a bill on my desk providing greater alleges for the morning-after bill to young women, i vetoed that bill. i have a solid conservative record. >> does he have a problem among some conservatives still? >> he does. among the most conservative voters, take a look at that poll that nbc and marist did, and they asked who do the very conservative voters support. you'll see gingrich beats romney
by about a dozen points. this is gingrich's opening here, this is what his campaign seeing as his opening, making the case to conservative voters that he's going to carry the reagan mantle. if the question is whether he has the 1234e7 discipline to do focus, rather than attacking mitt romney personally and his character. he now has to make the largest case. >> they argue the structure can work to their advantage.
they say it's going to be slow, and it's going to be painful for romney, because they're just going to wiggle away at him. they also remind you that only 5% of the delegate after tonight will have been chosen. it could switch back, but i mean, yeah. big question, of course is money. will the super pac sugar daddy come through again? >> and we're going to get hints about florida in november tonight and what happens in this republican primary. remember in november the democrats almost always win california and new york. the republicans almost always win texas. those are the three largest, the fourth largest being florida. so that's the most competitive and most important right now.
>> and it's such a diverse state, it gives you a hint about romney's strengths and weaknesses if he becomes the nominee. >> thank you. ron paul and rick santorum aren't expecting much. they have already 3406d west, looking for greener pastures. dana, why is santorum in nevada? what's his strategy to stay in this race? >> reporter: the answer is because he knew he was not going to do well at all in florida. as gloria was just saying, that state is winner take all. notice vr now he has opened up literally four days ago. he's already got some volunteers coming in, making calls, registered republican voters about rick santorum and about the caucuses where they can go
to vote this is very different from what we thought would happen, but he decided to come west because of what also gloria was mentioning. this state as with others are proportional. even if he can get three delegates that could add up, especially if you look at other states he's going to compete in for the next contest, which is february 7th, colorado, missouri and minnesota. they're hoping that with all of those, that he can at least get -- tick his delegate number up a bit to stay in the race. >> what have you learned about rick santorum's financial situation farce hi campaign funds are concerned? >> reporter: he as in pretty good shape. his campaign is saying in january alone he raised $4.2 million. the fact he did so well in the first contest of iowa, that helped. they say the fact that he did well in some of the debates, including the one you moderated,
that helped with online fund-raising, and he recalls $1.2 on hand. of course, anybody who even considers dropping out of the race, any race, it's because they can't financially afford to do it. rick santorum doesn't like lie he's in that kind of position. i just spoke with an adviser. they are cutting a brand-new ad, they still have all of the wheels in motion to keep going to quite a long time. >> dana gash, thanks very very much. i'm happy to report that santorum's daughter bella is doing much, much better. president obama catches everyone off-guard talking publicly for the first time about u.s. drone attacks, why it could potentially cause trouble for u.s. allies. newt gingrich draws a line in the sand for debates if he is the nominee. here's -- there is one thing he says a a deal breaker. we'll explain. hillary clinton lays down the law at the united nations.
i want to take him on his first flight. i want to run a marathon. i'm going to own my own restaurant. when i grow up, i'm going to start a band. [ female announcer ] at aarp we believe you're never done growing. thanks, mom. i just want to get my car back. [ female announcer ] discover what's next in your life. get this free travel bag when you join at aarp.org/jointoday.
jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." >> wolf, at a time when the federal government should be making drastic spending cuts across the board, they might want to start with their own. a new report out of the congressional budget office shows that federal workers get much better benefits, much better, including health insurance, retarmt and vacation than workers in the private sector. on average, the federal government spends 48% more on benefits for its employees than private employers do. as for salaries, federal workers make just 2% more than private sector workers and -- this is important -- there's a big difference when it comes to salaries when you break it down by education. for example, for federal workers with only a high school del
ploppa, their benefits are 72% higher, the wages are 21% higher than they would be in the private sector, but workers with doctorates or professional degrees are worse off working for the government. their benefits are about the same and they earn 23% less than comparable people in the private sector earn. the cbo suggests retirement benefits could be the key to all of this, because most retirmd federal workers gets pension and subsidized health insurance, not so if in the private sector. the government paid 16% more overall in salary and benefits than it would have in the private sector for the same workforce. less than 2% of the total u.s. workforce. now in 2010, congress and president obama agreed to a two-year federal pay freeze, but the president now wants a 0.5% pay increase for federal workers
in 2013. hey, this is an election year, in case you have lost track. here's the question, do federal workers deserve better benefits and higher salaries. go to cnn.com/caffertyfile, post a comment on my blog or go to and post on "the situation room's" facebook page. world? yak, thank you. america's drone war is an open secret. they have openly raised it in an online forum, talking about the weapons' pinpoint accuracy. let's go to brianna keilar. what's this all about? >> reporter: wolf, it appears the president was trying to address concerns that civilians are killed in drone attacks, but created a firestorm by even talking about the drone program in what was supposed to be an online video chat where he could take questions from every americans. it was a question from paris
patel, a med student in chicago that prompted president obama to do something he never had done before, acknowledge the existence of a classified and controversial drone program that tarts militants and terrorists in foreign countries like pakistan. >> i'm curious to know how you feel they help the nation and whether you think they're worth it. >> i want to make sure that people understand that actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilians casualties. this thing is kept on a very tight leash. >> reporter: officials rarely talk about the program, because it puts leaders in countries like pakistan in an uncomfortable position. they tacitly allow the strikes, but publicly condemn them. in november, a drone attack accidentally killed 24 pakistani soldiers. fran townsend was security adviser to president bush. >> acknowledgement by the president of the u.s. drone
program makes deniability by our allies far more difficult. it's one thing when the press talks about the drone program. it's another thing when the president or senior officials in the u.s. government confirm officially that it's u.s. policy. >> reporter: that was evident in the white house briefing, as press secretary jay carney tiptoed around the target. >> was it purposeful what he said? >> look, i would just refer you to what the president and to note that the point he was making is that our counterterrorism efforts by his order include, um, very concerted efforts to be targeted. >> reporter: it doesn't address whether it was purposeful or not. that's what i'm asking, if el he made a mistake. >> he's the commander in chief of the armed force of the united states, the president of the united states. i would point you to his comments.
>> reporter: you can see just how sensitive this is, wolf. when jay carney was asked multiple questions about this topic, he wouldn't even say the words "drones." at least publicly, wolf, the white house doesn't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole. they don't want to talk about it anymore it's very unusual when a report in a white house briefing asks the press secretary, did the president make a mistake? did he slip up? you don't hear immediately "of course not." that's what you would normally hear. so that's a good point. i spent many years covering presidential press secretaries. they always immediately come back and say of course not, but in this particular case, we can she. the u.s. navy to the rescue of an iranian ship. we're learning more about what prompted the mayday call.
[ male announcer ] the inspiring story of how a shipping giant can befriend a forest may seem like the stuff of fairy tales. ♪ ♪ you and me and the big old tree side by side ♪ but if you take away the faces on the trees... take away the pixie dust. take away the singing animals, and the charming outfits. take away the sprites, and the storybook narrator... [ man ] you're left with more electric trucks. more recycled shipping materials... and a growing number of lower emissions planes... which still makes for a pretty enchanted tale. ♪ la la la whoops, forgot one... [ male announcer ] sustainable solutions. fedex. solutions that matter.
the u.s. navy rescues an iranian boat. mary snow is monitoring that and other stop stories in "the situation room." what's going on, mary? >> it happened in an rabidian gulf where there was a distress called picked up from a fishing boat. the helicopter spotted the vessel drifting. a team from the guided missile destroyer "uss john paul jones" came aboard, not only fixed the engine, but the damaged propeller as well, send the the iranian bot on its way. the u.s. the python problem is worse than anyone imagined, according to a new study. they have wiped out about 95% of the raccoon and opossum area in
some areas. the python population has exploded as police release their pets into the wild. a the 6 utah girl got what she says was the only thing she really wanted for her birthday. what a surprise for little baby paige, as she sat in her kindergarten classroom, her father was home from the war in afghanistan. >> guess what, bailey? turn around. >> dad! >> sergeant page has been in the army seven years and been re-deployed for utah. it will be the first time he's lived with his family since she was born. >> so sweet, so nice. happy for those kids, happy for the dads. would like to see that happening more every single day. thank you for sharing with our viewers. mitt romney breaks out in song.
♪ for purple mountains' majesty above the fruited plain ♪ ♪ america you'll hear more and what's behind it. stand by. newt gingrich says he won't participate in debates moderated by journalists if he gets the republican nomination. what is he thinking? talking about? that's coming up in our "strategy session." [ male announcer ] this was how my day began.
the first exit polls will be coming in soon, it will shed some light a what voters are thinking of. and why officials fear iran is willing to attack the u.s. on its own turf. stand by. you're in "the situation room." let's get to our strategy session right now. joining us donna brazile and the republican strategist alex castellanos. marco rubio, the junior senator here, still a very powerful figure, he was on cnn with soledad o'brien earlier today. listen to what he said. >> i'm not going to speculate who will win, but here's what i'm comfortable in saying. i think the winner of florida will in all likelihood be the nominee for our party. as you said, florida is a
mini-america. it's. so we'll wait for the results. i don't know what they'll be, but let's see. we have an election week in florida. people have been voting for more than a week with the absentee ballots. >> um-hmm. >> early voting and absentee ballots, alex, you agree with marco rubio, in all likelihood the winner will be the republican nominee? >> i would say in all likelihood, but not in all certitude. when you look at other states mitt romney is winning tactical victorie victories, because he does negative ads, kills opponents, has more money, but hasn't won at the message level. that's why it hasn't translated nationally. yes, mitt romney should win, but rubio could be wrong. he hasn't heard mitt romney sing
evidently. >> let's not get carried away. we'll talk about that a bit later. the whole notion of newt gingrich's strategy. let's sea if he were to lose. >> first of all less than 10% of the delegates will be selected by the end of the night. newt gingrich still has an opportunity if he can find the money, to compete for about 180 delegates in the month of february, so no question if he can go the distance to accumulate delegates. 1,144 delegates. so is there a path to the nomination? absolutely, but i don't know if newt gingrich, given the fact that his campaign, he's come back twice. he's had more rebounds than larry birr. if he doesn't show he can compete and stop the establishment from piling it on, i think it will be tough to security the nomination. >> february looks tough. it's the march across the
desert. there are very few primaries and caucuses and newt gingrich thriving off debate, guess what? he doesn't have much coming up, he's going to need big money to get ready for super tuesday. can he find it in he takes a big beating in florida? maybe not. i was frankly surprised when he made this comment. there are already three presidential debates scheduled for the fall before the november 6th election. a national presidential commission that does this. the last debate will be in boca rattan at lynn university. they have all the ground rules and all that worked out, but he now says this -- >> the reporters who run the debates have no interest asking any question which will affect obama. that's why -- that's why, as your nominee, i will not accept debates in the fall in which the reporters are the moderators. you don't need a second obama
person in the debate. alex, you think that's realistic? three presidential debates that the commission has organized, he's not going to be in those? >> i can't imagine that he really means this. this is what scares republicans about newt gingrich. not just the establishment, everybody. that right underneath the surface there's an angry newt who if things don't start going well for him, he's much more likable when he's behind and moving up, but when he gets the lead, he seems to not be able to deal with responsibility real well, but this, he's also called mitt romney a maniacal liar. he's coming unglued a bit here at the tail end in florida. if that's what people see over the next week nationally when they look at what happened in florida, it will hurt him. >> i was surprised. until recently he does well in the debates and keeping
challenging the president to the debates. >> but he's playing to a audience that doesn't like the washington establishment or the will be real elites. and then i would break into a song and you'll lose your audience. newt gingrich, if he's the nominee, he will show up and he will compete in those debates. >> you don't turn down an opportunity to play in the super bowl. maybe he'll need a teleproempter, too. >> he need more than that at this point. >> thanks very much. three presidential debates. tough talk on syria from the secretary of state hillary clinton, as gruesome new atrocities come to light on this day. new video of an alleged brutality on a shocking scale. this new at&t 4g lte is fast.
hey. did you guys hear... ...that mary got engaged? that's so 42 seconds ago. thanks for the flowers guys. [ both ] you're welcome. oooh are you guys signing up for the free massage? [ both ] so 32 seconds ago. hey guys you hear frank's cat is sick? yeah, we heard. wanna sign the card? did you know the guys from china are in the office... [ speaking chinese ] [ male announcer ] stay a step ahead with the 4g lte galaxy s ii skyrocket. only from at&t. ♪
if you have painful, swollen joints, i've been in your shoes. one day i'm on top of the world... the next i'm saying... i have this thing called psoriatic arthritis. i had some intense pain. it progressively got worse. my rheumatologist told me about enbrel. i'm surprised how quickly my symptoms have been managed. [ male announcer ] because enbrel suppresses your immune system, it may lower your ability to fight infections. serious, sometimes fatal events including infections, tuberculis, lymphoma, other cancers, and nervous system and blood disorders have occurred. before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. don't start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if, while on enbrel, you experience persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. get back to the things that matter most.
ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ male announcer ] enbrel. the #1 biologic medicine prescribed by rheumatologists. until the end of the quarter to think about your money... ♪ that right now, you want to know where you are, and where you'd like to be. we know you'd like to see the same information your advisor does so you can get a deeper understanding of what's going on with your portfolio. we know all this because we asked you, and what we heard helped us create pnc wealth insight, a smarter way to work with your pnc advisor, so you can make better decisions and live achievement.
another three dozen people were reported killed in syria today, as heavy fighting increasingly involves the use of heavy weapons by the damascus regime. arab leaders told the united nations security council today syria is operating what they called a killing machine against protesters, and the secretary of state hillary clinton just weighed in. inch the united states urges the council to back the demand that all attacks be stopped and guarantee the freedom of peaceful demonstrations. we all know that change is coming to syria, despite its
ruthless tactics, the assad regime's reign of terror will end and the syrian people will have a chance to chart their own destiny. >>, and i must warn you, this includes some extremely disturbing videos. most viewers will find these images to watch. we thought it was important for you to see it. in fact, within cnn we've decided to show much of it without blurring, warning you first as i'm doing right now. relatives of the victims uploaded these victims for the word toss. let's go to arwa for more. arwa? >> reporter: wolf, it is exactly, as you mentioned why it is so important for people to see these imaging, because they understore just how crucial it is for the syrian uprising to be resolved.
it's the latest nauseating video posted online. six members of one family, we're told, four young children and their parents slaughtered. look, his hand is still gripping his mother's hair. look at his arm. look what they have done to him, the man continues. how much longer can we bear this as the camera moves over the lifeless body. their mother lies on the floor next to them, one of her eyes gouged out, an image too gruesome to show. activists say the video was shot in the neighborhood in the flash point city of homs. most of this family were
children. cnn cannot independently verify the authenticity of the videos, but the images speak for themselves. in some parts of syria, the killing seems to be growing more barbaric by the day. the battles more intense. on a recent government-sponsored trip to homs, we saw firsthand how tenuous the situation had become. the government only deemed one neighborhood safe enough for us to visit. a predominantly christian one. and even there gunfire echoed down the alleyways. people on both sides of the spectrum and those caught in between. fearful and angry. videos posted since then appear to have -- as the syrian regime renews its efforts to regain control in homs and other areas.
a massive plume of black smoke from a damaged oil pipeline as gunfire echos in the background, just a little image from 11 months of devastation and death. wolf, that right there just showing you why it is so important that some kind of resolution come about to the syrian uprising. the longer this drags on, not only the deadlier does it become, but we could potentially reach the point of no return, that is, of course, assuming syria is not there already. wolf? so signs of the government of assad is backing down, though. have you seen anything along those lines? no, we haven't. the crackdown increasing not only in homs, but also like in the suburbs of damascus.
it's important to remember with the resolution that's being talked about at the united nations that discusses some sort of handover the power, paving the way for a national unity government and for free and fair elections, that was put forward by the arab league a little over a week ago. that was already rejected by the syrian government. when we look at all the people who spoke during -- addressing the united nations, whether it's the united states, the secretary-general of the arab league or even the syrian ambassador himself, everyone is standing incredibly firm. we're not seeing a lot of compromise there, nor a lot of compromise on the ground, wolf. >> arwa damon reporting, what a sorry. arwa, thanks very much. unfortunately that story is not going away. strong warnings from one of the country's top intelligence officials about the kinds of plans iran might be plotting against the united states. it's an eye-opening report. stand by. plus we're waiting for the first exit polls in today's
florida primarily, only about 20 minutes or so away. [ sizzling ] ♪ [ male announcer ] free hot breakfast. with fresh waffles. real value. from your friends at hampton. nature valley trail mix bars are made with real ingredients you can see. like whole roasted nuts, chewy granola, and real fruit. nature valley trail mix bars. 100% natural. 100% delicious. an accident doesn't have to slow you down... with better car replacement, available only from liberty mutual insurance, if your car is totaled, we give you the money
to buy a car that's one model-year newer... with 15,000 fewer miles on it. there's no other auto insurance product like it. better car replacement, available only from liberty mutual. it's a better policy that gets you a better car. call... or visit one of our local offices today, and we'll provide the coverage you need at the right price. liberty mutual auto insurance, responsibility -- what's your policy?
herman cain did it, so did president obama a few days ago, but mitt romney caught everyone by surprise when he burst so song at a florida campaign event. romney was reminiscing about house his parents took him on trips to see the beauty of america. watch as he gets inspired to break into song. >> i love this country, ann said that earlier. i love america. there's a song that captures that for me "o beautiful for spacious skies." amber waves of grain for
purple mountains' majesty across the fruited plain. can you sing that son? i love that song. ♪ oh beautiful for spacious skies ♪ ♪ for amber waves of grain ♪ ♪ for purple mountains' majesty above the fruited plain ♪ ♪ america america ♪ ♪ god shed his grace on thee ♪ ♪ and crown thy good with brotherhood ♪ ♪ from sea to shining sea ♪ [ cheers and applause ] >> i love this country. >> for complete political coverage all the time, be sure to read our ticker on cnnpolitics.com. jack cafferty is here with "the cafferty file." do you want to sing a few bars? >> that's not singing what he was doing. that's the kind of sound a
person makes when they're being waterboarded. just awful. >> it wasn't that bad. >> he didn't spend any time obviously in the same churches that barack obama did as a kid. the question this hour is do federal workers deserve better benefits and higher salaries? chandler in new jersey writing -- it's not a question of what they deserve. in the past the deal with government work was you didn't get paid as much as the private sector but the benefits were comparative generous. private sector jobs used to come with pensions and subsidized retiree health care, too. what has happened is not that government workers are on overcompensated, but wage versus so beaten down that government jobs now look good by comparison. tim writes -- good question. they're overcompensated. but lower will have pride employees are also undercompensated. higher level are about perfectly
compensated, but the higher level private employees could do with a haircut. dave writes -- it's a trick question, right? keep you standing in line or on hold for hours? who treat you like livestock who do in one month what the rest of us can do in an hour, who can't understand that you have give they a pace of employment? they only get government work because they could never keep a real job in the real world. if you want to hire federal securities examiners that can go toe to toe about wall street lawyers, you won't get the best people to work for teachers' salaries. at the same time there are many who do little and get comfortable salaries. you want to read more? go to my blog, or through or post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf? >> i'm not going to sing and
you're not going to sing. we'll leave that to others. we're standing by for the first exit polls. what will they reveal? also a view of cnn you don't usually get to se behind the ascertains of our primary coverage. our own brooke baldwin is in tampa. she's joining us with that. ameo work hard for a better future. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪ but when she got asthma, all i could do was worry ! specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all.
with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. [♪...] >> announcer: with just a few details, an identity thief is able to change access to your bank accounts and make your money his money.
[♪...] [whirring] you need lifelock, the only identity theft protection company that now monitors bank accounts for takeover fraud. [popping and spattering] it's the most comprehensive identity theft protection available. lifelock. call 1-800-lifelock or go to lifelock.com today. matt's brakes didn't sound right... ...so i brought my car to mike at meineke...
...we inspected his brakes for free. free is good. free is very good. my money. my choice. my meineke. mary snow is monitoring other top stories. mary, what else is going on? >> a very profitable fourth quarter for exxon. the company is reporting a net income of $9.4 billion. the company can thank higher oil prices.
they jumped 25% in the last three months of 2011. fox news is learning the hard way don't mess with the muppets. it all started with this segment on fox business channel, slamming the new muppet movie in which the villain is an oil baron take a look. >> is it use class warnary to brainwash our kids? >> absolutely. >> is brainwashing in the most obvious form. i wish liberals could leave little kids alone. >> kermit and miss piggy were asked about that. kermit denied any prejudice against oil companies noting the muppets spend much of the movie in a gas-guzzling rolls-royce. miss piggy was much more succinct. >> they were move concerned about us versus a prejudice and i can tell you categorically that's not true. if we have problems with oil companies why would we have
spent the entire film driving an in a a gas-guzzling rolls-royce. >> almost as laughable as accusing fox news, you know, as of being news. >> boy, that's going to be all over the internet. >> yeah, yeah, when i say things seriously, they have a real big problem. there you have it. >> guys, how cute are they, mary? >> very. i know that kermit made an appearance with you a couple months ago. >> he was a guest in "the situation room." how cool was that? thanks very much. all of us love the excitement of a primary night. it's a huge, huge team effort, not just tonight, but also right now in tampa where brooke baldwin will take us a little behind the scenes. brooke? >> this is our beautiful tampa,
florida backdrop. we wanted to show you behind the scenes, so let's spin around. you see me going live, all kinds of lights, obviously a camera, but look down the way. hala gorani is set up for cnn international, cnn news source, another camera location, and swinging to the right one more for cnn espanol. this is where we're logging our skripgs, are you having fun? >> so much fun. >> reporter: take a look inside the workspace. folks from different shows, booker, espanol. this is spev, like s.e.a.l. team 6 for cnn. emily, what exactly do you do? >> we set up live locations all around the state, candidate 4th quarters, polls places,
everything you see live, plus workspaces for all our correspondents. >> are you exhausted? >> we haven't slept in a while, but we're having fun. >> thank, emily. now to paul stein hauser. hey, paul, we see you all the time, you're the guy crunching numbers, talking politics, when is the last time you saw your little girl? >> i did get home for the weekend for my wife's birthday. >> what's so cool? >> cover politics is like covering sports. there's winners, losers, but a heck of a lot more at stake at the end of the day. we're talking about people's lives, government, taxes, health care. that's why politics is fun, but it also has so much importance to it. >> where is your next plane ticket? >> going home to d.c. for a day, then out to nevada, after that, stay tuned. >> let's show you something else. wolf, this is a very important table. this is sustenance, breakfast, lunch and dinner, rule number
one, carry the tripod, rule number two, feed the crew. this, very important. okay. so that's pretty much it. you've got to get ready for another live shot. weaver busy here, but they're scouting out a shot. i'm back here. i will see you on television. the first florida poll is about to close just two hours from now, in a contest so pivotal, it could potentially help determine the nominee. also signs that iran may be ready to attack here in the united states. just ahead, a bold warning from the u.s. intelligence chief. and president obama asks one woman for her husband's resume. you'll find out why in our interview. breaking news, political headlines and jeanne moos, all straight ahead. i'm wolf blitzer at the cnn elections center, you're in "the situation room."
the first exit polls out of florida are starting to come in, our chief national correspondent john king is here, combing through the numbers as we speak. we'll bring you the results live as soon as they're available, probably within the next few minutes. stand by for that. also tonight, a contest unlike any other in the country's fourth largest state. it's open to more than 4 million republican voters, with a massive 50 convention delegates up for grabs. because it's winner take all, whoever comes out on top in florida may get a major boost he needs to leave his rivals in the dust. we'll see. but first to a disturbing new national security threat we're learning about with the potential to dominate the presidentacy race in the days and week, indeed months, to come.
warring iran may be prepearce to launch a terrorist attack. chris lawrence is standing by with the latest. what are they intelligence experts, u.s. government leaders saying? >> reporter: wolf, they're saying is not only iran stepping up its spying against the u.s., but also its support for international terrorism. it's something that either president obama or perhaps one of these potential republican contenders have to face head-on in the next year. even attacks on american soil are no longer off-limits. in the latest report, the director of national intelligence says some iranian officials, some probably including supreme leader
ayatollah hatolli khamenei -- and irs the first he's been linked to all audacious plot, when drug lords were attempted to -- >> a plot so unusual and amateurish that many initially doubted that iran was responsible. well, let me state for the record, i have no such doubts. >> reporter: officials from president obama on down have declared a red line on iran going nuclear. but during tuesday's congressional hearing, sxwel gens officials spoke directly to when that line gets crossed. >> enrich machined to a 90% level would be a pretty good indicator of their seriousness. >> reporter: iran is believed to be enriching uranium to 20% now.
they have everything they need to go forward except agreement that weaponizing is the best move. >> there is dissension and debate in the political hierarchy of iran, so there is not unanimity about this. >> the director add milted that sanctions have not changed iran's policy, meaning the nuclear issue could come to a head before america votes in november. >> i think 2012 will be a critical year for convincing or preventing iran from developing a nuclear weapon. >> intelligence officials say iran's willingness to sponsor attacks here inside the united states, mostly depends on how much punishment they face for that failed attack in october on the saudi ambassador and how much of a threat they perceive the u.s. to be to them going forward. wolf? >> very strong words from these intelligence officials, strong
words indeed, and in public. chris, thanks very much. moving on right now. much-needed momentum for mitt romney going into tonight's battle. florida voters showing in with a 12-point lead over newt gingrich with rick santorum and ron paul trailing behind. is newt gingrich isn't going down, though, without a fight. this is just one of many appearances he's flooding the campaign trail with on this day. had's stopping in colorado, then heading to nevada. ron paul is also making stops in colorado before traveling to nevada. let's bring in our chief political correspondent candy crowley. also or senior correspondent joe johns is out in las vegas awaiting ron paul. first to you.
what are the romney people looking for tonight other than, of course, a win? >> it's the measure of the win. we've seen these polls come out with double-digit gap, and obviously the bigger of that gap the better it is for mitt romney, because he can come out of here with major momentum. beyond the departmentth of the gap, them some broad numbers to come in. by therapy i mean what has been the one thing about mitt romney. they'd like a strong number. they'd like to see mitt romney obviously do well when newt gingrich was? south carolina and all that came up about his second wife and the
question of whether there was an open marriage. there was a thought that women wouldn't go for newt gingrich, but they did. so those are sort of two keep demograbs where they'll be looking at the exit polls, trying to figure out where his strengths were. theres some bragging rights if he can look at that conservative vote and say, see, i did attract those. obviously gingrich has been pounding him at a moderate, sometimes as a liberal. >> we'll be get some of those early this hour. candy has the negative back and forth help or hurt romney? >> reporter: well, you know, nothing -- the proof is in the pudding, right? if he's leading here, looking florida is a very different state. there are things here that would tell you perhaps this is a state that would favor mitt romney. nonetheless, the candidate himself said, listen, we don't
feel like we were tough enough in south carolina. when i am hit, i will hit back. obviously they think there has been something to show for what has been a blifrt of negative ads, so obviously they think that has done them well. they want to do two things. those negative ads are to drive down newt gingrich's showing tonight. >> candy will be over at romney headquarters throughout the evening. we'll check back often. let's go to joe johns. ron paul basically saw florida was winner take all, so he largely ignored florida, but not necessarily nevada, where you were? >> that's true. campaigning in colorado, which would seem on the to the average
person watching all of this, really de-emphasized florida, because his campaign really saw florida as prohibitively expensive to try to advertise in, also a state where it's win terr take all, which is proportional delegation, proportional del gates to the convention for the republican party. so he has been emphasizing his strength, really talking to those young people around these states, trying to push them to the polls, because that's where he knows his strength is, talking a bit about his anti-war message earlier today in colorado. listen to the sound bites. >> of course, the wars and the entitlement system, the welfare system could not be financialed if we had to pay taxes every month, but sell ductively they empowero, pay it later on, print the money and delay the cost. i used to talk about the next
generation will bear the costs. i don't talk that way. we're paying the costs right now. >> reporter: as i said, though, he'd end up in nevada tonight. he'll be around las vegas all day tomorrow, so he's pushes hard in this state. as you know, four years ago, mitt romney won the state of nevada. it's got a lot of people who vote as mormons do for a guy like mitt romney. so he looks like a guy who's going to be very strong in this state. ron paul is trying to pick off some of those delegates as we move closer and closer. >> nevada has a large mormon population. is ron paul going to be deliver a major speech tonight? we've son of gotten used on these primary nights for them to be delivering a speech at the campaign headquarters in the state where the primary is taking place. he's out in nevada.
what do we expect to hear from him tonight? >> reporter: that's anybody's guess. they're putting up a podium. i expect, as a lot of people do, to hear from ron paul here in this state, even though he's not in florida, and even though he didn't compete there. we understand he's going to at least try to take advantage of the national media exposure as it happens this evening, as always happening when a primary -- >> we'll expect to hear from all four candidates at some point tonight. >> this note to our viewers, our team is sifting through the first florida exit polls. our john king is standing by with the first results. we expect john to walk into the cnn election center momentarily with those results. stand by. also mitt romney taking on president obama in a different way. jeanne moos will join us later this hour how he did, what he did when he went from campaigner
to crooner. ♪ o beautiful ♪ for spacious skies ♪ for amber waves of grain ♪ for purple mountains -- what factors led you to buy your explorer. definitely the ecoboost option. what's pretty amazing is that you can get the fuel economy of a car in an suv. that basically did it for us. and the technology... oh, my goodness, the technology is amazing. everything is touch. you can actually talk to the car and it talks back to you. what have your friends said about your explorer? can we drive it? can we borrow it? what's your answer? no. no way. uh uh. (laugh)
vacations are always wasn'ta good ideaa ♪ priceline negoti - - no time. out quickly. you're miles from your destination. you'll need a hotel tonight we don't have time to bid you don't have to bid. at priceline you can choose from thousands of hotels on sale every day. save yourself... some money it's what he would have wanted. i've tried it. but nothing helped me beat my back pain.
then i tried salonpas. it's powerful relief that works at the site of pain and lasts up to 12 hours. salonpas. you know, typical alarm clock. i am so glad to get rid of it. just to be able to wake up in the morning on your own. that's a big accomplishment to me. i don't know how much money i need. but i know that whatever i have that's what i'm going to live within. ♪ ♪
how are you today? today is voting day. did you know that? can independents vote in florida? independenting cannot vote. next time i'll need you to report as a republican. this november if i'm lucky i'll be the nominee, and then will you vote for me in the general election? will you do that? thank you, dorothy. say hello to your husband. i appreciate it. thank you. that was one of the several calls the republican
presidential candidate mitt romney personally made from the stenches over at the campaign headquarters in tampa, florida. he's taking no chance. he's clearly trying to squeeze out every single vote, including that independent voter. and romney 'hoping he will be the presidential nominee. let's go to jack with "the cafferty file." >> things i not looking for newt gingrich in florida. that doesn't seem to matter much to him. despite trailing mitt romney and being outspent by an estimated $12 million. gingrich says he's going to stay in the race and go all the way to the convention. that has a lot of republicans concerned. they're worried if romney and gingrich keep going at each other it could weaken the eventual nominee who then has to face off. others suggest a prolonged fight makes both gingrich and romney
better candidates. a piece today on politico suggests that for gingrich, the next great challenge of the campaign comes from within. quote here -- gingrich may have the will to keep fighting, but whether he's capable of keeping his cool, delivering a donzant message and executing a long-shot plan to overtake romney is an altogether different matter. end quote. also working against him, no more debates until february 22nd. meanwhile, though he's vowed to stay in it for the long haul, his campaign is already lowers expectations for some of february's primaries. the campaign says michigan and nevada will be difficult for the former house speaker. romney won both those states in 2008. michigan is romney's birth state. his father was governor there, and nevada has a lot of mormons. gingrich is setting his sights on march when more of the southern states begin to vote. the question is whether the money and the media attention will dry up before then.
the question is this -- if newt gingrich gets blown out in florida, is it time for him to drop out? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog, or go to our post on office office's facebook page. wolf? >> he says he's not dropping out. as hillary clinton used to say, he's in it to win it. we shall see what's going on. we'll have the first exit polls coming in shortly. john king is going through them. stand by. also some floridians are getting flooded with robo-calls including one with newt gingrich on the attack, linking mitt romney and kosher food or should i say lack of kosher food. plus this -- >> my husband has an engineering degree with over ten years of experience. he was laid off three years ago and has yet to find a permanent job in his field. >> that woman's plea turned into a promise from president obama
♪ and the sky is deep and blue ♪ ♪ won't you take me american flight 280 to miami is now ready for boarding. ♪ there with you fly without putting your life on pause. be yourself. nonstop. american airlines. can you enjoy vegetables with sauce and still reach your weight loss goals? you can with green giant frozen vegetables. over twenty delicious varieties have sixty calories or less per serving and are now weight watchers-endorsed. try green giant frozen vegetables with sauce.
it's primary day in florida. the robo-calls keep coming, like this one slamming mitt romney over past legislation in massachusetts. >> as governor of massachusetts, mitt romney vetoed a bill paying for kosher food for our seniors in nursing homes. holocaust survivors, who for the first time were forced to eat non-kosher, because romney thought $5 was too much for our grandparents to each kosher. where is his compassion for our seniors? tuesday you can end mitt romney's hi pockry sis on religious freedom, with vote for newt gingrich.
paid for newt 2012. >> the call references then governor romney's veto that would have finded food preparation in some nursing homes. romney's campaign called the call as, quote, a desperate attempt by gingrich to get a leg up in the polls. let's talk about this and a lot more with two cnn political contributors. paul begala and former bush white house press secretary ari fleischer. thanks very much. ari, i've got to ask you, is that jet? not so legitimate? what's going on? i was going to say, is it kosher? >> that's too easy. >> there's a reason they're made at the last hour. it's a tack that goes beyond bounds. jewish residents did get kosher food. this was to pay for an increase and even more spending on kosher food, and romney swreetoed that, trying to close a budget gap. what i don't like about the ad,
and this is classic newt. he brings in the issue of religious freedom. this had nothing to do with religious freedom. i think the ad crosses the line. >> and raises the issue of a mormon running, suggesting that maybe a mormon w507b9 want elderly jewish people to get kosher food, which is a ridiculous charge. >> i don't think newt would make that attack. if mitt were a martian or catholic as i am, it's over the top. it's fumally accurate. ari is right, the governor then vetoed a law that would have extended increase funding, he vetoed it, but god bless the democrats, they overrode the veto so that grandma was able to eat kosher. it's more of a budget issue than religious freedom. ari is right about that. there was not discrimination behind it, but i can't imagine it was voted by religious prejudice.
>> there's a lot of jewish voters in florida, miami-dade, broward, palm beach, but in a general election they would be significant if it's close in a republican contest. a lot of these can't vote right now. >> a lot of the jewish votes will be a key swing group. it's a democratic bastion. republicans have been making inroads, but in a primary, it's a small number of jewish voters who are republican. >> here's how the romney campaign responded to this today. i'll pull it up on the screen. it's lashing out as a desperate attempt. special gingrich will say anything to distract voters from the fact that he suffered an unprecedented ethics reprimand, was forced to pay a $300,000 penalty, and resigned in disgrace at the hands of his own party. enough of that. let's talk about david
axelrod, the president's senior political adviser on the campaign, we should point out right now both of you probably know very well. he's making an issue of the road trip years ago that mitt romney made and put the dog, as you know, up in the cage on top of the car. listen to romney on fox news in december 2007. >> this is a completely airtight kennel mounted on the top. he climbed up there regularly, enjoyed himself. we love the dog. it was where he was comfortable. we had five kids inside the car. my guess is he liked it better in the kennel than he would have inside. >> dade axelrod tweeted -- how loving owners transport their dogs. you see the picture of the president with bo inside the
car. paul? >> the dog is an irish setter named shamus, probably even fetched the newspaper or even lick mitt romney's feet. first off, the kennel couldn't have been airtight or the dog would have suffocated. he did in fact do something else to express his displeasure and messed up the roof and the back window of the car. it does show a heartlessness and even bordering on cruelty to the animal. it's odd. we're all pet lovers, and i don't know anybody who straps their dog to the roof of the car. it really -- i just think -- this is going to nag him, this will -- pardon the pun -- dog him, because it shows a callous disregard. >> i can't believe we're talking about this. we have debts, deficits, all the issues we have, i don't think this is the stuff that really counts and is a big issue.
>> axelrod disagrees. >> that's why i love the enact that al gore inventsed the internet. that's what people do. if romney wins, i would retweet it after he's won. >> it wasn't i hurt the dog, stressed him out. he doesn't say any of that. he's like i'm proud of myself for torturing some animal. >> i'm an animal love. i think this is a sideshow. it has nothing to do with qualifications. >> i have four boys and a huge german shepherd. i might tie the boys to the roof than major, my dog. just kidding. all right, guys, enough. president obama made an unannounced stop at a car show in washington today. hopping in and out of a line of
new models and concept cars. when he was told that the power was on in one of them, he joked that the secret service wouldn't like seeing him behind the wheel. then there was the blue mistake. >> a classic. >> a 5.8-liter, and -- it's a stick? >> this is a stick. >> oh. >> it goes up to 200 miles an hour. >> of course nobody ever drives that -- >> no, never. it has supercharged -- >> this is what i needed in high school. >> the president couldn't resist a few minutes inside a corvette, also hailed what he called the comeback of the auto industry to a place where it can compete
with any car company in the world. it's not every day you get to chat online with the president of the united states, much less get help finding a job, but that's what happened for a texas couple. cnn's mary snow is joining us from new york. how did they get the president's attention? >> well, wolf 29 years old jennifer waddle was chosen by google to participate in that online chat. she says when she finally got her chance to ask the question, she felt the president was given a generic answer and she decided to press him further. it was a virtual town hall. president obama talking online with americans. gen i have waddle of ft. worth, texas, didn't expect what was to come. she asked about her husband who has a engineering degree, ten-plus years of experience, but has been searching for a full-time job for three years. at one point came this exchange. >> jennifer, can i ask you what kind of engineer your husband
is? >> a semiconductor engineer. >> it is interesting to me, and i meant what i said, if you send me your husband's resume, i would be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there, because the word we're getting is that somebody in that kind of high-tech field, that kind of engineer should be able to find something right away. >> reporter: what was your reaction when the president asked you for darren's resume? >> i think i lost my hearing. i was completely shocked. i really did lose senses. >> i was just like jumping up and down. i couldn't believe the president actually wanted to look at my resume. >> the wedels are grateful, jennifer originally asked about a certain kind of visa called the h1b which allows other workers into the country, concerned that america workers are losing out on jobs. here's what the president said. >> the h 1 b should be reserved
only for those firms who say they could not find someone in that field. that wouldn't necessarily apply if there's a lot of highly skilled american engineers in that position. >> i think once he realized he is a semiconductor engineer, i think it took the president badge a bill. >> reporter: last year the u.s. issued 117,000 visas. ron herer is one of the critics. he says there's misused to bring in chief guest workers in high-tech industry. >> it plays an important role there, but the way it's designed right now, is problematic, and the wedels should be demanding change. >> he along with darren wedel says there's a disconnect between perception and reality. >> they're not just
automatically given jobs. they're having a tough time in this economy as well. >> in the meantime it has received darren wedel's resume. and in this specific job, we checked with the department of labor and it tells you in the last two years only five h-1b visas were issued for that particular job. >> what do tech companies say? >> we checked in the association that he represents a number of tech companies. they say there's definitely a need for qualified engineers, and point to a number of companies that are hiring, but, you know, the professor keeps saying there's a disconnect from what he's hearing from engineers on the ground there's no shortage. that there are people who are out of work and really need a job. let's hope he gets a job. thanks very much, mary. thanks for that. our team is continuing right now to sift through the first florida exit poll results.
our own john king is standing by with some early results. we'll go to him shortly. also jessica buchanan is back in the united states, but now there are growing concerns about her health. . i love kiwis. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free -- it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. super poligrip free made the kiwi an enjoyable experience. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip.
made the kiwi an enjoyable experience. this was the gulf's best tourism season in years. all because so many people came to louisiana... they came to see us in florida... make that alabama... make that mississippi. the best part of the gulf is wherever you choose... and now is a great time to discover it. this year millions of people did. we set all kinds of records. next year we're out to do even better. so come on down to louisiana... florida... alabama... mississippi. we can't wait to see you. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. ask me. [ male announcer ] even if you think you can live with your old mattress... ask me how i've never slept better. [ male announcer ] ...why not talk to one of the 6 million people who've switched to the most highly recommended bed in america? it's not a sealy, a simmons, or a serta. ask me about my tempur-pedic. ask me how i can finally sleep all night. ask me how great my back feels every morning.
[ male announcer ] did you know there's a tempur-pedic for everybody? tempur-pedic beds now come in soft, firm, and everything in between. ask me how i don't wake up anymore when he comes to bed. [ male announcer ] these are real tempur-pedic owners. ask someone you know. check out twitter or your friends on facebook. you'll hear it all, unedited. ask me how i wish i'd done this sooner. ask me how it's the best investment i've ever made. [ male announcer ] tempur-pedic brand owners are more satisfied than owners of any traditional mattress brand. ♪ to learn more or find an authorized retailer near you, visit tempurpedic.com. tempur-pedic. the most highly recommended bed in america.
the first exit polls are just coming into "the situation room." john king is here to break down these numbers. what are we getting? >> let's look at who voted. 52% of those voting were men, 48% are women. will there be a gender gap? that's one of the questions we will ask. that'sr that's one of the things you want to look at. we'll see if that materializes tonight. about an even split, slightly more men. this is very important.
florida has a somewhat less conservative electoral, yet 37% defines them as somewhat conservative. you see the split, the diversity by ideology. >> very different than south carolina. >> very different than south carolina. this was newt gingrich's greatest strength in south carolina. ran very well among conservative voters, but again these are the key tests. we'll want to see who does the best there, but you see here again, this is the first big state, a more diverse state, a different republican party than in south carolina. the tea party movement was big in florida in 2010, marco rubio and rick scott came out of the movement. 66% say they support the tea party. 22% are neutral. 8% oppose the tea party. so pretty good pro-tea party constituency in the state of florida. this was critical to gingrich in south carolina.
we'll see. a bigger state, more diverse voters. we'll see if governor romney was able to make up any ground. this is a smaller percentage that is in iowa or south carolina. 61% say -- so 6 in 10 of our florida voters are not evangelical. one other notphoto15% is latino. we haven't seen any number like that in any other states. >> that's higher. >> it is up a bit, but it shows you participation, turnout, as you've been noting throughout the week 600,000 votes already cast. so fascinating questions to be answered. >> you're going through more numbers, and share it with us -- >> throughout this hour, 6:00,
7:00 and beyond and after the polls close at 8, with el can dig deeper. >> most of the polls in the state close 7:00 p.m. eastern, but all will be closed by 8:00 p.m. at that point we'll be able to give our viewers the results -- >> a better breakdown. >> thanks very much. our complete coverage, only minutes away. new information on the amount of negative tv ads flooding the florida air waving. erin burnett is all over that. [ male announcer ] lately, there's been a seismic shift
in what passes for common sense. used to be we socked money away and expected it to grow. then the world changed... and the common sense of retirement planning became anything but common. fortunately, td ameritrade's investment consultants can help you build a plan that fits your life. take control by opening a new account or rolling over an old 401(k) today, and we'll throw in up to $600.
florida. this just south of tampa. this is the largest precinct in the county, good turnout here all day today. you can see here all the candidates' signs -- ron paul, newt gingrich, mitt romney. the romney signs interestingly enough were just added late this afternoon. there were none here early this morning. over here is the newt gingrich booth. you can see there's a rick santorum sign, so folks there as well. i was going to ask you, concerned about what the polls have been showing? >> absolutely not. we're hanging strong. it's big money again grassroots. we are keeping the faith. look what happened. we believe newt can win. >> they're convinced. we'll have to see whether the folks here are right or whether the polls are right. john zarrella, cnn, lithia, florida. >> cnn is covering the florida presidential primary from all
angles, you do not want to miss a minute as we follow the balloting. stwu with us starting because another big story right now we're watching, where is jessica buchanan? she's the u.s. aid worker rescued last week. she boarded a flight yesterday in italy. cnn's brian todd is joining us from buchanan's college campus in pennsylvania. what do we know, brian? >> reporter: wolf, we know jessica buchanan is finally back on u.s. soil, but for now she and her family are not offering many clues on her where abouts. a law enforcement officials tells cnn that jessica buchanan is back in the united states. the official would not say where she is, and that buchanan and her family want to, quote, lay low. adding to the mystery, vague clues about her health and whether it took a drastic turn
while in the hands of kidnappers in somalia. in a telephone interview, her father said she's on the mend physically. >> she has some issues, but nothing life-threatening at this point. i do know that they moved very frequently. she's also into natural food and a vegetarian, and i understand her primary diet was camel milk and goat meat. >> reporter: buchanan's uncle has indicated she had a thyroid condition, but didn't know if that played a role in the rescue. >> i guess it had gone on long enough, i'm not sure. just glad they did. >> reporter: the head of security for her aid group said this about her condition in this video, which he viewed about 20 days after her kidnapping. >> they looked like they had not been any violence used against them, at least. >> reporter: cnn has told the fbi is in contact with buchanan and her family since her rescue, that since this was an abduction, this is an ongoing
criminal investigation. her father says psychologically she's in a good frame of mind. that despite having gone through two emotional traumas in two years, her kidnapping and earlier her mother's death. after her rescue, i spoke about that with a professor at valley forge christian college, whose daughter is a close friend of buchanan's. >> jessica still is grieving the lost of her mother, then this capture took place, so there was a lot on her plate, but she is a person of strong character. she seemed to have done well. >> reporter: a law enforcement officials says intelligence obtained by the fbi as well as the military led to finding buchanan's location in somalia so the military could go in and says while the investigation is continuing, u.s. officials believe that the military killed everyone involved in her ababduction, so for that reason the official says it's unlikely anyone will be arrested and prosecuted. >> jessica buchanan may be off
the grid, but we have heard something from the other person kidnapped with her. what was that? >> reporter: that's right. that aid group, the danish refugee council released a statement by her fellow former hostage, saying he had also left sicily to be with his family and the state said, i am grateful for the prayers and support i have received from everyone that through this what he called event. >> thank you very much, brian. jack cafferty is back in a moment. and president obama impersonated al green, and mitt romney is giving singing a try as well. who has the presidential "the x factor." sked real people if thed help us with an experiment for febreze fabric refresher. ♪ i'm so in love with you [ experimenter 1 ] relax, take some nice deep breaths. [ experimenter 2 ] what do you smell? lilac. clean. there's something that's really fresh. a little bit beach-y. like children's blankets. smells like home. [ experimenter 1 ] okay. take your blindfolds off.
♪ hello? [ male announcer ] and now new and improved febreze fabric refresher with up to two times the odor elimination so you can breathe happy, guaranteed. when we were determined tos tsee it through.tion here's an update on the progress. we're paying for all spill related clean-up costs. bp findings supports independent scientists studying the gulf's environment. thousands of environmental samples have been tested and all beaches and waters are open. and the tourists are back. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp.
mr. speaker, do you still see a path to the nomination after florida? >> oh, sure, of course. >> how do you see that? >> unify the conservatives. romney's not going to get near a majority here. >> did you let your guard down to mitt romney would you say? >> no. i would say when you're outspent 5 to 1 with ads that are
dishonest it's a challenge. >> are you saying he's running a dishonest campaign, sir? >> that's what the "wall street journal" and national review said. >> that quick exchange earlier today. the former house speaker pointed to almost any's negative ads to explain his expected loss in today's winner take all primary in florida. let's get right back to jack with the cafferty file. leading into the question this hour, if newt gingrich gets blown out in florida tonight is it time for him to dropout? pam in texas writes "no, if santorum or paul were to drop out i believe the majority of their votes would go to gingrich. if you add up all the votes not for romney he's not winning and that's what the gingrich campaign is hoping for." thus you're looking at a very interesting primary and i cannot wait to see the convention. thomas writes "with the economy in the toilet and millions of americans out of work we need a candidate brave enough to talk about what really matters, column onizing the moon." for the good of the country, writes harry, gingrich should drop out.
but for the good of obama's re-election bid he needs to stay in until the convention. fred in mississippi "no, because there are still a bunch of southern states that haven't voted yet. in some of those southern states my state of mississippi in particular gingrich has a higher favorability than romney. i believe he'll become the nominee regardless of the results in florida." don writes "newt will carry on, hoping rick santorum drops out to pick up more conservatives. however the shock and awe of the rom any ad money barrage could give him or anyone pause. newt needs to remain relevant in february. hopefully like another northerner romney hasn't begun his march to the sea by then. s writes from pensacola, florida" don't think so. i think mitt and newt should run as president-vice-president on the same ticket. the combination would be perfect. mitt plus newt equals mewt. and that's about right in my case. if you want to read more about
this you go to my blog, cnn.com/cafferty file or for our post on the situation room's facebook page. wolf? jack, thank you. we've shown you mitt romney's "american idol" moment. jeanne moos has a unique take on that. ♪ for spacious skies for amber waves of grain for purple mountains majesty above the fruited plain ♪ you name it, we're here, anytime, anywhere, any way you want it. that's the way i need it. any way you want it. [ man ] all night? all night. every night? any way you want it. that's the way i need it. we just had ourselves a little journey moment there. yep. [ man ] saw 'em in '83 in fresno. place was crawling with chicks. i got to go. ♪ any way you want it ♪ that's the way you need it ♪ any way you want it ♪ my high school science teacher made me what i am today. our science teacher helped us build it. ♪
now i'm a geologist at chevron, and i get to help science teachers. it has four servo motors and a wireless microcontroller. over the last three years we've put nearly 100 million dollars into american education. that's thousands of kids learning to love science. ♪ isn't that cool? and that's pretty cool. ♪
will be giving awaycool? passafree copies and that's pretty cool. of the alcoholism & addiction cure. to get yours, go to ssagesmalibubook.com. who would went the presidential race if it were decided by a singoff? here's cnn's jeanne moos. >> reporter: when a candidate sings -- ♪ america america >> reporter: -- and the resulting headline is mitt sings america and it ain't beautiful, prepare to be compared with the president who just wowed the crowd singing the al green oldie -- ♪ for beautiful for spacious skies ♪ >>. ♪ am so in love with you >> reporter: bun snarky headline even put the word "sings" in
quotes. it's a different thing for politician toss sing. from john mccain to herman cain. ♪ imagine there's no pizza >> reporter: let's reheat a slice of former attorney general john ashcroft. the late senator edward kennedy was known for letting loose in spanish. it took a blackout during a town hall meeting to get rick santorum to sing sinatra. ♪ strangers in the night >> reporter: strange as it sounds, hillary clinton used her own off-key singing caught on camera in a humorous campaign web video. president obama's al green routine has like-wise turned into a web ad. the president's eight-second
performance has been remixed into a virtual duet with al green. the obama campaign has even turned his performance into a ring tone you can download to your phone. as for mitt romney, first come medians poked fun at him for constantly speaking the same lines. >> oh, beautiful for spacious skies. >> no, that's from friday. >> oh, beautiful for spacious skies. >> no, that's from monday. i want last night. >> oh, beautiful for spacious skies. >> reporter: now he's getting skewered for singing them. a harsh critic might say this mitt sings even worse than this mitt in an are business' restaurant promotion. ♪ amazing roast beef >> reporter: if you can't take the heat, don't sing in the kitchen. jeanne moos, cnn.